Your career

Your legal launch pad

New laws are constantly being created. Every time there is a hint that a new product will enter the market, we're there to offer world-class advice. Sometimes a client will request something that's never been done before, against a backdrop of grey regulatory areas. For us, it's an opportunity to interpret, to change, and to innovate. And for you, it promises a very fulfilling experience.

In terms of formal training, you'll benefit from a global programme that's mixed with regional courses, lunchtime seminars and online training. Everything is geared towards developing you from an early stage, and across the board.

For example, here you'll receive training on how to recruit, how to build client relationships, and how to develop business. That's everything you need to take your career to the next stage.

First year

Hong Kong SAR Pathfinder (All degree students)

A one-day insight programme into a career in commercial law at Linklaters.
Penultimate and final-year (All degree students)

Summer Vacation Scheme (four weeks)

A four-week programme in both June and July that provides a genuine experience of life as a Trainee at Linklaters.
Penultimate and final-year undergraduates and postgraduates (All degree students)

China-London Training Contract

This is a unique opportunity for native Mandarin-speaking undergraduates or postgraduates to be trained as England and Wales qualified lawyers before returning to China to embark upon an exciting career as a commercial lawyer in Hong Kong SAR, Beijing or Shanghai.
After university (All degree students)

Graduate Diploma in Law (GDL) – (Non-law degree or non-common law degree)

A one-year conversion course at any branch of the University of Law in the United Kingdom or two-year part time in Hong Kong SAR. Linklaters will pay your course fees.

PCLL conversion examination

Graduates without a Hong Kong SAR LLB and/or Hong Kong SAR JD degree will need to pass the PCLL conversion examination before commencing the PCLL. Find out more at

Postgraduate Certificate in Laws (PCLL)

A one-year programme to provide the necessary professional qualification for law graduates who have completed the LLB and/or JD degree in Hong Kong SAR and non-law graduates who have completed the GDL. You can choose the Hong Kong SAR university at which you would like to study the PCLL.
Training Contract

London and global orientation programmes (part of a three-week induction)

You’ll learn about commercial awareness, global legal systems, research, drafting and our approach to diversity. You’ll also meet other trainees from our global network.

Supervision and training (two years)

You’ll take four six-month seats (placements) in different practice areas. In each, you'll be assigned a Principal, who acts as a mentor and provides training and supervision.


Almost 90% of our Trainees undertake at least one secondment in an international office, giving them the multi-dimensional experience every modern lawyer needs.


Years 2-6

After qualifying, this is where you'll start your career in one of our practice areas. Most people are offered their first choice and, because we have strong teams across the board, you can confidently choose the practice area that excites you. You'll have access to The Practice Diploma Programme, including a range of global courses to help you build your skills.

Managing Associate (MA)

Year 6+

The next step is promotion to Managing Associate (MA). This assumes you have demonstrated significant technical expertise, leadership qualities and the ability to operate at a senior level. As an MA you’ll be more engaged in the business: solving the most difficult legal issues, nurturing client relationships, leading teams and accounting for financial performance. And you'll be a future leader of our firm.

You'll also join our Leaders of the Future training programme, part of the Linklaters Law & Business School, in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. Formal training includes workshops such as fee negotiation and feedback skills.

Counsel and partner

The Counsel role is designed to recognise the above-and-beyond capabilities of senior lawyers and the additional leadership responsibilities that they assume. It can also be a promotional step.

Once they've proven themselves with clients and colleagues, the very best Managing Associates may be considered for election to the partnership. Combining serious experience with a track record of strong performance, Partners are leaders and world-class experts in their fields.

Beyond the path

Development isn't all about job titles. You'll pick up invaluable skills on high-profile projects, working with brilliant colleagues. And our size and success means we can offer an unrivalled choice as you develop. Stay flexible, and you can take up secondments abroad, or with clients. Then as our business evolves, you'll also have the chance to explore new practice areas, some of which didn't even exist five years ago. Your ongoing training, meanwhile, will be covered by the Linklaters Law & Business School.

Ongoing training

Ongoing training is vital to becoming a successful commercial lawyer. It's why at Linklaters, you can look forward to continuous training and development throughout your career, via on-the-job learning and the Linklaters Law & Business School. The School was developed in partnership with some of the world’s most prestigious institutions, including Harvard Law School and the University of Cambridge. In one holistic syllabus, we’ve combined business skills and technical knowledge, for the rounded expertise you need. And as well as milestone programmes from Trainee to Partner level, much of our training is international.

Launching leader

Wherever our people succeed, everyone wins. So we’re proud to count former colleagues among our clients, and to find them in leadership roles in industry and government.